The Right Honourable Greg Clarke MP, responding to an invitation from students, visited Bennett Memorial School today in order to spend time taking questions from Bennett Sixth Form students about environmental priorities. The students questioned the Secretary of State for Business both about the part business plays in contributing to environmental degradation and how working with Government it can be part of our collective response to developing a sustainable future for the planet.
Later, Greg was joined at the school by members of the Careers and Enterprise Company including its chair Christine Hodgson. Ten businesses were active consulting sixth form students about business as well as taking questions from them, including about the importance of ethics in business. Greg was present to witness the delivery of this workshop as part of the careers provision and engagement with the world of work and labour market; priorities set out in the Government’s recommended Gatsby benchmarks. It also became the occasion for Greg to witness both the benefits of the Enterprise Adviser Network which opens up business contacts but also brokers an experienced professional to work with a school in providing support in these areas.
Bennett Memorial has a strong connection with local community and business. Being a Church of England school it benefits from access to parishes across the diocese who inevitably can offer a wealth of experience and opportunities. Bennett has always been generously supported by many local and national businesses who accommodate students for work experience in years 10 and 12. This has typically been a very enlightening and formative experience for students. In a school where the vast majority of sixth formers go on to university these interactions with the world of work help students not only with what they can gain from a career, but to begin to explore what they might feel they are called to bring and to give in the service of others. It is in all these ways that Bennett Memorial seeks to guide, nurture and embolden its young people not simply to find jobs, but to re-define jobs by prioritising the service of our common good through their working lives.